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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:

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    Building Industry Association Southern California - Desert Chapter
    Local # 0532
    77570 Springfield Ln Ste E
    Palm Desert, CA 92211

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Riverside County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    3891 11th St Ste 312
    Riverside, CA 92501

    Building Industry Association Southern California
    Local # 0532
    17744 Sky Park Circle Suite 170
    Irvine, CA 92614

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Orange County Chapter
    Local # 0532
    17744 Skypark Cir Ste 170
    Irvine, CA 92614

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Baldy View Chapter
    Local # 0532
    8711 Monroe Ct Ste B
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

    Building Industry Association Southern California - LA/Ventura Chapter
    Local # 0532
    28460 Ave Stanford Ste 240
    Santa Clarita, CA 91355

    Building Industry Association Southern California - Building Industry Association of S Ca Antelope Valley
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    44404 16th St W Suite 107
    Lancaster, CA 93535

    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Anaheim California

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    Through more than four thousand construction related expert witness designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory delivers a streamlined multi-disciplinary expert retention and support solution to legal professionals and construction practice groups concerned with the effective resolution of construction defect and claims litigation. BHA provides building related litigation support and expert witness services to the nation's leading construction practice groups, Fortune 500 builders, real estate investment trusts, risk managers, owners, as well as a variety of municipalities and government offices. Utilizing in house resources which include construction cost and scheduling experts, registered design professionals, forensic engineers, certified professional estimators, the firm brings national experience and local capabilities to Anaheim and the surrounding areas.

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    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    EPA Issues Interpretive Statement on Application of NPDES Permit System to Releases of Pollutants to Groundwater

    May 27, 2019 —
    On Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in a development of interest to practically anyone who operates a plant or business, EPA published its Interpretive Statement in the Federal Register. (See 84 FR 16810 (April 23, 2019).) After considering the thousands of comments it received in response to a February 20, 2018, Federal Register notice, EPA has concluded that “the Clean Water Act (CWA) is best read as excluding all releases of pollutants from a point source to groundwater from a point source from NPDES program coverage, regardless of a hydrological connection between the groundwater and jurisdictional surface water.” Acknowledging that its past public statements have not been especially consistent or unambiguous on this important matter, EPA states that this interpretation “is the best, if not the only reading of the CWA, is more consistent with Congress’ intent than other interpretations of the Act, and best addresses the question of NPDES permit program applicability for pollutant releases to groundwater within the authority of the CWA.” Indeed, the absence of “a dedicated statement on the best reading of the CWA has generated confusion in the courts, and uncertainly for EPA regional offices and states implementing the NPDES program, regulated entities, and the public.” The recent and contrary interpretations of this issue by the Ninth Circuit (Hawaii Wildlife Fund v. County of Maui, 886 F.3d 737) and the Fourth Circuit (Upstate Forever v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP, 887 F.3d 637) will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which will now have the benefit of the agency’s official position. In addition, EPA discloses that it will be soliciting additional public “input” on how it can best provide the regulated community with “further clarity and regulatory certainly”; these comments will be due within 45 days (June 7, 2019). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    The Business of Engineering: An Interview with Matthew Loos

    July 15, 2019 —
    Matthew Loos is an experienced project manager in the civil engineering industry. He works as a project engineer at Jones|Carter in Fort Worth, Texas. In this interview, we discuss Matt’s new book, The Business of Engineering. It is not very common that an engineer writes a non-technical book. What inspired you to do so? Have you ever gotten an idea stuck in your head that you just couldn’t let go of? A time when you couldn’t go to sleep because the idea was consistently begging for your attention? That’s what happened to me. The idea for this book hits me right before bed, as most good ideas do. I couldn’t go to sleep after the idea struck me. I spent half of the night writing the chapters of this book in my mind. I had been thinking about the idea of engineering and how it relates to other career fields, even the non-technical ones. I was disenchanted with the trifling number of classes I took that prepared me for the business world. These were the initial thoughts that eventually led me down the road into thinking about engineering as a profession going forward. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Reasonableness of Denial of Requests for Admission Based Upon Expert’s Opinions Depends On Factors Within Party’s Understanding

    February 27, 2019 —
    In Orange County Water District v. The Arnold Engineering Company (D070763), the Fourth Appellate District examined the criteria for evaluating the reasonableness of a parties’ denial of requests for admission (RFA’s) based upon their expert’s opinions and the proof required to recover costs for unreasonable denials. In Orange County Water District, the Orange County Water District (the District) sued several current and former owners and operators of industrial sites, including The Arnold Engineering Company (Arnold), to recover expenses associated with groundwater cleanup efforts intended to address groundwater contamination caused by volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and other chemicals. Over six years, the parties conducted extensive discovery, including document productions, depositions, and soil sampling and monitoring. Reprinted courtesy of Stephen M. Tye, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP and Lawrence S. Zucker II, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP Mr. Tye may be contacted at Mr. Zucker may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Public Law Center Honors Snell & Wilmer Partner Sean M. Sherlock As Volunteers For Justice Attorney Of The Year

    June 10, 2019 —
    Snell & Wilmer is pleased to announce the Public Law Center (PLC) has named Orange County partner Sean M. Sherlock as the 2019 Volunteers for Justice Attorney of the Year. Sherlock donates his time and knowledge to his community through his pro bono work with PLC. From 2015 to earlier this year he headed a team of attorneys who represented an elderly PLC client in danger of losing her mobile home. The client is the primary caregiver for her disabled grandson who survives solely on a fixed income of disability and Social Security, causing her to fall behind on her space rent for her mobile home. In addition to pro bono work, Sherlock is an avid community volunteer, spending his time supporting organizations that have included Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Orange County Coastkeeper, AYSO and the Boy Scouts of America. “One of the most rewarding aspects of being an attorney is being able to obtain justice for the vulnerable and defenseless in our society who would otherwise be unable to navigate our legal system,” said Sherlock. “My relationship with the PLC has given me many opportunities to do some very gratifying work, and it is a real pleasure working with and learning from the excellent staff attorneys at PLC.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Sean M. Sherlock, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Sherlock may be contacted at

    APROPLAN and GenieBelt Merge, Creating “LetsBuild” – the Build Phase End-to-End Digital Platform

    March 18, 2019 —
    Responding to a rising need to deliver an all-in-one solution, supporting on-site planning, progress communication, snagging, drawings and checklists, GenieBelt and APROPLAN have decided to merge to form LetsBuild – the European leader in delivering an end-to-end solution to the global construction industry. For the past five years, GenieBelt CEO Klaus Nyengaard and APROPLAN CEO Thomas Goubau have met on a regular basis to discuss developments in the construction technology sector and how to increase efficiency and minimise rework, miscommunication, and errors. “We share the vision that ‘simple to use’-products will bring immense value to the construction sector. When we met in October 2018, we concluded that the way to realize this vision was to unite our companies to create a broader product and cover more needs in the market,” says LetsBuild CEO Klaus Nyengaard. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Aarni Heiskanen, AEC Business
    Mr. Heiskanen may be contacted at

    Corps of Engineers to Prepare EIS for Permit to Construct Power Lines Over Historic James River

    May 01, 2019 —
    On March 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided National Parks Conservation Assoc. v. Todd T. Simonite, Lieutenant General, et al. The case involves an application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for a construction permit to build electric power lines over the “historic James River, from whose waters Captain John Smith explored the New World.” The Corps concluded after reviewing the thousands of comments submitted to it in connection with this application, and after considering the views of several government agencies and conservation groups, that an Environment Impact Statement (EIS) was not required, and that its Environmental Assessment assured the Corps that the project would not result is significant environmental impacts. The Court of Appeals has concluded that, based on this evidence, the Corps’ refusal to prepare an EIS thoroughly discussing all these points was arbitrary and capricious. The Corps has been ordered to prepare the EIS and to take special note of its obligations under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and its obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Anthony B. Cavender, Pillsbury
    Mr. Cavender may be contacted at

    Be Careful with “Green” Construction

    March 18, 2019 —
    As readers of Construction Law Musings can attest, I am an enthusiastic (if at times skeptical) supporter of sustainable (or “green”) building. I am solidly behind the environmental and other benefits of this type of construction. However, I have likened myself to that loveable donkey Eeyore on more than one occasion when discussing the headlong charge to a sustainable future. While I see the great benefits of a privately built and privately driven marketplace for sustainable (I prefer this term to “green” because I find it less ambiguous) building stock and retrofits of existing construction, I have felt for a while that the glory of the goal has blinded us somewhat to the risks and the need to consider these risks as we move forward. Another example reared it’s ugly head recently and was pointed out by my pal Doug Reiser (@douglasreiser) at his Builders Counsel Blog (a great read by the way). Doug describes a project that I mentioned previously here at Musings and that is well described in his blog and in a recent newsletter from Stuart Kaplow (@stuartkaplow), namely, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Philip Merrill Environmental Center project. I commend Doug’s post for a great description of the issues, but suffice it to say that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sued Weyerhauser over some issues with a sustainable wood product that failed. While the case was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds, the case illustrates issues that arise in the “new” sustainable building world. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Connecticut Crumbling Concrete Cases Not Covered Under "Collapse" Provision in Homeowner's Policy

    July 01, 2019 —
    What do you do when your house falls out from underneath you? Over the last few years, homeowners in northeastern Connecticut have been suing their insurers for denying coverage for claims based on deteriorating foundations in their homes. The lawsuits, which have come to be known as the “crumbling concrete cases,” stem from the use of faulty concrete to pour foundations of approximately 35,000 homes built during the 1980s and 1990s. In order to save their homes, thousands of homeowners have been left with no other choice but to lift their homes off the crumbling foundations, tear out the defective concrete and replace it. The process typically costs between $150,000 to $350,000 per home, and homeowner’s insurers are refusing to cover the costs. As a result, dozens of lawsuits have been filed by Connecticut homeowners in both state and federal court. Of those cases, three related lawsuits against Allstate Insurance Company were the first to make it to the federal appellate level.1 The Second Circuit Court of Appeals was tasked with deciding one common issue: whether the “collapse” provision in the Allstate homeowner’s policy affords coverage for gradually deteriorating basement walls that remain standing. The Allstate policies at issue were “all-risk” policies, meaning they covered “sudden and accidental direct physical losses” to residential properties. While “collapse” losses were generally excluded, the policies did provide coverage for a limited class of “sudden and accidental” collapses, including those caused by “hidden decay,” and/or “defective methods or materials used in construction, repair or renovations.” Covered collapses did not include instances of “settling, cracking, shrinking, bulging or expansion.” Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Kerianne E. Kane, Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
    Ms. Kane may be contacted at